• Campaign 2014


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Recent Articles

GUHSD Superintendent's Newsline

Letter on The Washington Post

CTA Insider

Happy January!

Article: Battle Lines Drawn on Annual Testing in ESEA Renewal

The U.S. Congress may make a change to the No Child Left Behind (ESEA) mandated testing... Read this Article for more information:


Workshop: Evolution of Special Education

Flyer ECTU SPED Feb10 2015 v3

Bargaining Update & Holiday Message

Hello GEA Members,

On behalf of the GEA Representative Council and GEA Executive Board, we hope that your holiday will be restful and rejuvenating.

Please review the GEA Bargaining Update below this message.

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President


December 17, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina (V.P.), Jay Tweet (Teasurer), Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Rick Roberts, Dan McDowell, Theresa Kemper

GEA met with district representatives from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Professional Development Management / Evaluation System

• Representatives from TrueNorthLogic came to present:

o A professional development management system where teachers could register and track PD opportunities.
o An evaluation system where bargaining unit members and the district would track all steps of the evaluation (pre-observation meeting, observation, post-observation meeting) based on current evaluation contract language with online reports.

• GEA asked about other modules that the district was considering, specifically if there were plans to move to a value-added style of evaluation and the district claimed that there are no plans for that.

2. Infinite Campus

• GEA expressed concern about the time it takes to enter grades into Infinite Campus due to slow loading times.
• GEA expressed concerns about other IC features including (but not limited to) seating charts, attendance reports (not including dates), printing student progress reports, A-G courses/ tracking and more.
• GEA also expressed a concern about how GEA member concerns about IC are addressed and resolved.
• The district will come up with a process for submitting change requests to Infinite Campus and will report back to GEA.

3. Cal Grant Course Identification

• GEA expressed concerns that counselors are being asked to identify courses that meet the Cal Grant requirements.
• The district claimed that counselors were simply shown how to check on Cal Grant identification in Infinite Campus.
• The district agreed that the Curriculum Department would identify which courses meet the requirements of Cal Grant.

4. Responsible Use Policy

• The district suggested that a committee be formed of GEA and district representatives to create a RUP for all staff members.
• GEA agreed to a RUP committee and that the draft RUP be brought back to the bargaining table.

5. Counselors Packing and Unpacking

• The district agreed to pay counselors for Prop U and H packing and unpacking.

6. Substitutes

• The district is considering an attendance incentive package, where schools will receive extra site funding if staff members use fewer sick/PN days.
• GEA suggested that this is a terrible idea, as it will cause conflict on campus, mistrust of administrators and may result in sick employees coming to work. Health care professionals strongly recommend that people NOT go to work when ill. The purpose of sick leave is to insure the good health of all employees.

7. Bereavement

• GEA proposed that language be added to the contract making sure that miscarriages are covered under bereavement, and the district agreed.

President's Update: December 4, 2014

Hello GEA Members,

This message is being sent to you - AS A CORRECTION - for a previous email that updated you on AB 420 - a new Ed Code law on student discipline for schools.

AB 420 passed both the State Assembly and the State Senate, and was signed by Governor Brown.

AB 420 changes Education Code with regard to disciplining students for defiance of school personnel.

Starting January 1, 2015, and until The summer of 2018, (for just over three years) DEFIANCE cannot be used to expel students from high school. However, during this three year period, AB 420 PRESERVES the power of teachers to suspend a student for defiance from their individual class room. **School principals may suspend a student from school for defiance of school officials and/or for the disruption of instruction to other students.**

Attached you will find the actual Ed Code 48900 with changes highlights by AB 420. In addition you can read the CTA Lobbyist's summary report on this new law below:


AB 420 (Dickinson): Student Discipline – Keeping Students in School

CTA worked with a coalition of civil rights organizations, education stakeholders, and lawmakers to limit the use of out-of-school student discipline, while preserving a teacher’s ability to maintain control over their classrooms.

  1. Jerry Brown has signed AB 420 and the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

After a great deal of member deliberation at State Council, CTA secured amendments to AB 420 that preserve a teacher’s right to suspend a student from the classroom as outlined in Education Code 48910. CTA believes that any decision to suspend, expel, exclude, or exempt students from school should be used only as a last resort and only when psychological, emotional or physical safety is compromised. School and district policies should be consistent with sound educational philosophy. Further, any legislation that diminishes the rights of a teacher to remove disruptive students from the classroom environment when deemed necessary by the teacher should be opposed.


Under existing law, students can receive out-of-school student discipline for a long list of reasons outlined in Education Code 48900. New data that is being collected and published by the California Department of Education is highlighting the fact that racial disparities are arising in the treatment of students under one provision -- (48900k – willful defiance or classroom disruption).

The Local Control Funding Formula makes education communities accountable for the school climate they create, as measured in part by rates of student suspension and expulsion. A baseline of data is set for measuring progress and goals for improvement for all student subgroups, with specific actions required to reach those goals. AB 420 creates a three-year policy experiment encouraging school districts throughout California to establish alternative programs to suspension and expulsion in order to keep students in school. These programs require personnel, training for all stakeholders in the education community and a commitment of resources.

AB 420 Highlights:

AB 420 eliminates “willful defiance or classroom disruption” as a reason to expel a student from school.

AB 420 eliminates “willful defiance or classroom disruption” as a reason to suspend a student from school in grades kindergarten through third grade.

AB 420 preserves the ability of a teacher to suspend a child from the classroom at any grade level for “willful defiance or classroom disruption.”

AB 420 sunsets in the summer of 2018, providing some time to evaluate the policy shift.

When a child is sent out of the classroom so that others can continue to learn, our collective challenge is to leverage new resources provided by the Local Control Funding Formula to put programs in place at the school to help the child re-engage, while supporting the teacher’s efforts in the classroom. Keeping kids in school will help students thrive. It will also improve school’ Average Daily Attendance enabling the state to send more resources.



Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Message from the President: December 1, 2014

Hello GEA Members,

As we reflect on Thanksgiving -- know that the GEA Reps and Exec Board and V.P. James Messina and I are grateful for your work and support in the election of GEA's endorsed candidates -- Rob Shield and Gary Woods -- to the Grossmont School Board.

The success of this election allows us to focus on enforcing and improving our contract. I will send you an update with details on this in the next few days.

And finally -- Please read the following article which appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune -- a Tribute to Dick Hoy -- who is retiring from serving on the Grossmont School Board. We are grateful for his work and leadership on behalf of students and district employees. He will be missed!


Trustee Dick Hoy says goodbye to the Grossmont District

By Karen Pearlman Nov. 13, 2014

EAST COUNTY — Dick Hoy, a governing board member for the Grossmont Union High School District since 2006, said goodbye to the district at Thursday's board meeting.

Hoy, a San Diego State alumnus who taught at Santana from 1970-2001, said, "It's been the ride of a lifetime, and I've really enjoyed it."

Hoy has been the Santana Sultans football team game-night announcer for more than 30 years, and during the board meeting, he was feted by a group of Santana students and teachers. After a glowing speech by the school's ASB president Hayley Sampson, Hoy was presented with a plaque that will go in the school's press box, which will be dedicated to Hoy.

"One of the greatest gifts that Mr. Hoy gives to Santana High is his time announcing football games," the plaque reads. "Mr. Richard 'Dick' Hoy refers to the Santana football field as the 'Santana Super Sultan Dome' - we refer to him as Mr. Wonderful."

Hoy also got a clock from the board, and trustee Jim Stieringer also presented Hoy with his own gift, a plaque of a face of Montezuma, in honor of his alma mater. Hoy is a dedicated Aztecs sports fan.

Hoy, a lifelong East County resident and La Mesa resident since 1961, attended elementary school in Lemon Grove and graduated from Helix High School. He has been married for 47 years to JoAnne, who was at the meeting along with one of his two children, Rebecca Short, an English history teacher at Santana.

Hoy earned a bachelor's degree from SDSU with a major in social science, also obtaining a masters degree in history from SDSU. After earning a teaching credential in 1967, he taught for 34 years - three years at Lemon Grove Junior High and the final 31 years as an American history teacher at Santana.

Since retirement, he has served as a coordinator for the Grossmont District’s Academic League and Decathlon program and as a support provider for new teachers. He said he would continue to announce football games and be part of the decathlon program. He said he will stay busy as a board member of the California Retired Teachers Association, but will miss his Grossmont board member status.

"I'll miss not being part of the good education going on in this district," Hoy said. "We do a really good job here."

Grossmont Superintendent Ralf Swenson called Hoy "one of the finest board members I've ever worked with."

"We are both former educators and we've had a lot of conversations about teaching careers," Swenson said. "I taught history and it's nice to have a person who's had that kind of a background at a board level. Beyond that, he's one of the finest men I've ever known. He has a high level of integrity, fairness and compassion, all qualities I think make for a great public servant. He will be missed."

Gary Woods, who will take Hoy's spot as Grossmont trustee after the Nov. 4 election and who previously served with Hoy on the board from 2008-12, spoke in front of the board to express his appreciation for Hoy.

"Dick Hoy has been a good model of good governance, graciousness and putting students first, an encourager," Woods said, then turned to Hoy and added, "You were about cooperation and collaboration, and for that I want to thank you."

Board member Jim Kelly, recently re-elected to the board for the fourth time, said he appreciated Hoy's demeanor, which has kept things light during some heated board moments.

"Dick is the consummate gentleman, unbelievably principled and totally collegial," Kelly said. "He never gets mad, he never gets personal, he's respectful of everyone. In every situation, he has been a fanastic representative for the Grossmont District."


We have much to be thankful for. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and restful.

Wishing you the best for the holidays,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President